One of the smart things a small business owner can do for their business is to take the time to develop a small business marketing strategy that will set them apart from the competition. A marketing strategy clearly outlines how you’ll reach your ideal clients by efficiently implementing your marketing plan. There’re a lot of ways you can promote your small business. With the right mix of activities, you can identify and concentrate on the most efficient marketing tactics for your small business. Here’s a list of 101 small business marketing thoughts to get you thinking about all of the different ways you can promote your business.
Marketing is about finding your ideal client and sharing your message on how you will make their lives perfect. To do that, you need to identify and research your target market, decide how your business will stand out, and develop a plan. Here’re strategies to get started:
- Update or make a marketing plan for your business
- Revisit or start your market research
- Conduct a concentrated group
- Write a perfect selling proposition (USP)
- Refine your target niche and audience
- Match advantages to your features to use for creating efficient marketing messages
Be prepared with materials you can share online or off. Things such as business cards are inexpensive, simple to hand out and give you credibility. You should have something with you that you may give to a lead. These materials should be transferred to online resources like a website, as a digital presence is critical to success.
- Make or update your business cards
- Create your business card stand out from the rest
- Make or update your brochure
- Build a website
- Make a digital version of your brochure for your site
- Get original with promotional products and give them away at the next networking event you attend
The digital world has made marketing simple and affordable, but that does not mean you should not get out into the world to promote your business. Even if your business is initially online, consider adding networking to your marketing tactics. Remember, success in business is around relationships, and networking lets you make the kinds of relationships that lead to sales, referrals, and other essential business growth.
- Rent a booth at a trade show
- Introduce yourself to other local business owners
- Plan a local business workshop
- Write an elevator pitch
- Register for a conference
- Join your local chamber of commerce
Direct mail is an expense, but it can yet be efficient if you find a targeted list and send them a provide, they cannot refuse. Direct mail results in 5 times more sales than email.
- Launch a multipiece direct mail campaign
- Make multiple approaches, and split test your mailings to measure the effect
- Include a clear and enticing call to action on each direct mail piece
- Use tear cards, props, inserts, and attention-getting envelopes to make an effect with your mailings
- Send past client’s free samples and other incentives to regain their business
Social Media Marketing
You need to be on social media as it lets you not only share about your business but build a relationship and trust with your market. But such as all other forms of marketing, you want to keep your market in mind in terms of knowing where to find them and how-to good talk to them. More, you need to know how to use the social media platforms you are on as they’re not one-size-fits-all. Ultimately, you need a social media strategy. Go where your market hangs out to learn about what you do. If your market likes to use Facebook to learn about products and services that you provide, then you should be on Facebook.
- Get started with social media for business
- Make a Facebook page for your business
- Get a vanity username and URL for your Facebook page
- Make a Twitter account and start following experts and influencers in your industry
- Reply or retweet somebody else on Twitter
- Set up a 4-square account for your business
- Make a LinkedIn profile for you and your business
- Begin a business blog
- Write blog posts regularly
- Make an Instagram account
- Make an editorial calendar for your social content and blog
With the growth of social media, few have said email marketing is dead. However, people on your email list are further interested and committed to your business. It is simple to click follow on social media, but customers are not so simple to give out their email. When they do, it means they want to know what you provide.
- Make an email opt-in on your blog or website
- Provide a free download or gift to entice people to give you their email address
- Send regular emails to your list
- Start a free monthly email newsletter
- Use A or B testing to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns, and consider segmenting the list to great target your markets’ interests
- Unique your email signature
- Add video, audio, and social sharing functionality to your emails
Contests, Coupons, and Incentives
People love free stuff and discounts. Just be sure you follow the laws about giveaways and contests.
- Start a contest
- make a coupon
- Make an often buyer rewards program
- Start a customer appreciation or a brand ambassador program
- Make a customer of the month program
- Give away a free sample
- Begin an affiliate program
Most marketing is about making awareness of your business. But once you’ve people’s attention, you need to trust and rapport, whether that is through email or social media.
- Concentrate on building a relationship, not making a sale.
- Send out a client satisfaction survey
- Ask for referrals
- Make a referral
- Help volunteer or promote your time for a charity event
- Sponsor a local sports team
- Cross-promote your products or services with other local businesses
- Join a professional organization
- Plan your next holiday promotion
- Plan holiday gifts for your perfect customers
- Send birthday cards to your customers
- Approach a colleague about a joint venture
- Donate branded prizes for local fundraisers
- Become a mentor
Content is king. Providing beneficial or entertaining content can attract people to your business, where you can then entice them to buy. Content comes in several forms, from text and video to graphics and more.
- Strategy a free teleconference or webinar
- Record a podcast
- Write a press release
- Repurpose your content to share in other places. For instance, take YouTube content and splice for Instagram TV or Facebook. Or use the audio from the video on a podcast
- Self-publish a book